International Anti-Corruption Day 2016: Call for concerted efforts to fight corruption in Bangladesh
Throughout the world, 9 December is celebrated as International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD). Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) began observing the day through week-long activities in the capital and in 45 locations of the country where TIB-inspired Committees of Concerned Citizens (CCC) and Youth Engagement and Support (YES) volunteers have been spearheading the anti-corruption social movement since 1996. This year’s IACD theme is ‘Together against Corruption’ that called upon the people to make concerted efforts to reduce the menaces of corruption in the country.
The day began in the morning with a long human chain at the Centre Shahid Minar where Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka Professor Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique urged the youth to follow the ideals of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to fight corruption in the country. Citing a recent TIB survey that found 69 percent of the country's people fell victim to corruption while trying to avail government services, TIB's Executive Director Dr. Ifetekharuzzaman called upon the people to raise their collective voices against all types of corruption in the country.
Later, some 242 YES volunteers from 45 locations of the country and the capital received ‘Inspiration Awards’ for their contribution in spreading the anti-corruption social movement in the country. Commending their efforts in the nation-building process, eminent writer and TIB’s Secretary General Selina Hossain urged YES activists to defend the spirit of the country's Liberation War, sovereignty, and cultural identity with highest respect. Held at the auditorium of Shishu Academy, Chair of TIB’s Board of Trustees Advocate Sultana Kamal urged YES members to redouble their efforts to promote ethical values among the communities to build stronger public demand for good governance. Citing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's call for "turning every house into a fortress", TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman urged YES volunteers to create such fortresses in their houses to wipe out corruption from the country. Deputy Executive Director of TIB Professor Dr. Sumaiya Khair urged YES members to work harder for achieving the desired results to reduce corruption in the country.
In the afternoon, six cartoonists and three photographers were awarded for their outstanding contribution to the promotion of anti-corruption messages using the creative art forms of cartoons and photos. At the same time, a week-long exhibition comprising 60 cartoons and 23 photographs was also inaugurated.
A total 150 cartoonists under two age categories: 13-18 years, and 19-25 years, sent a total of 319 entries for the 11th competition. 48 professional and amateur photographers sent 123 entries for the 2ndanti-corruption photo competition.
Six cartoonists and three photographers received award money, crest and certificates while token cash awards and certificates were given to 'special mention' awardees.
H. E. Mr. Johan Frisell, the Swedish Ambassador in Bangladesh attended as Guest of Honour during the inauguration of exhibition and distribution of prizes at DRIK Gallery in Dhanmondi. Advocate Sultana Kamal, Chairperson, Board of Trustees of TIB presided over the event, moderated by TIB's Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman. Deputy Executive Director of TIB Professor Dr. Sumaiya Khair also attended.
Distributing prizes, Ambassador Frisell lauded the courageous role of the cartoonists and photographers in depicting the ills of the society and urged all to collectively raise their voices against the menaces of corruption in Bangladesh.
The exhibition will remain open to all from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm from 9-15 December at DRIK Gallery in Dhanmondi.
Meanwhile, in collaboration with Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), fixed helium gas balloons were flown in prominent locations of eight divisional cities including the Capital to promote Together against Corruption message. With the support of Dhaka City Corporation North, six buses in the Capital will move from north to south with anti-corruption messages from Sunday, 11 December for three months.
The week-long observance of IACD will end on 15 December with the distribution of prizes to the winners of anti-corruption essay competition and anti-corruption public speaking competition.
Meanwhile, the IACD 2016 was also duly observed in 45 locations of the country where TIB-inspired YES members demanded the same using various social accountability tools, including various cultural events, showing of video drama, rallies, human chain, bi-cycle rally and discussion meetings.